What are the Penalties for Fentanyl Possession in NJ?

In recent years, the United States has experienced a growing crisis of substance abuse. Due to this opioid epidemic, law enforcement agents are determined to prosecute anyone contributing to this crisis. In New Jersey, those who illegally possess opioids, especially fentanyl, will face extreme penalties for even minor infractions. If you’ve been charged with a fentanyl-related offense, you should not take this lightly, as prosecutors will aggressively pursue a conviction. Please continue reading to learn the penalties you could face for possession of fentanyl in New Jersey and how a determined Bergen County Drug Possession Defense Attorney will tirelessly fight to protect your freedom.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a type of synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times as potent as morphine, making it an attractive alternative to other opiates. The drug is often used in combination with other opiates, such as heroin, to lead to a more substantial “kick.” However, this, unfortunately, has led to an increase in overdoses, which makes fentanyl that much more dangerous to possess.

What Are the Potential Penalties?

Fentanyl is a Schedule II drug under New Jersey law. This means it has legitimate medical uses but comes with severe risks. Schedule II drugs have a high potential for abuse and could lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. As such, the severity of your penalties will depend on the specific circumstances of your arrest, such as the amount of the drug and how you came by it.

In New Jersey, possession of fentanyl is a third-degree crime. This felony offense is punishable by imprisonment of three to five years and an enhanced fine of up to $35,000. If you’re caught in the possession of less than 10 grams (0.35 ounces), you would face the same term of imprisonment, but you would not incur an enhanced fine. Instead, you would face the ordinary fine of $15,000, which is generally applicable to all third-degree crimes. The possession of 10 grams or more is a first-degree crime. This offense is punishable by imprisonment of ten to twenty years, a fine of up to $200,000, or both.

Furthermore, since fentanyl is a prescription drug, the law makes it a fourth-degree crime to possess five or more dosage units. It’s considered a disorderly person offense, a misdemeanor in other states, to have less than this amount. If convicted of a fourth-degree crime, you could face up to 18 months of imprisonment and up to 6 months for each grade of prescription drug possession.

If you’re facing a fentanyl-related charge, don’t underestimate the penalties. Given the high stakes, it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of an experienced attorney from The Law Office of Carl Spector who can thoroughly protect your interests.